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The change has come

Don Rogers

Monday, ancient history now, was a banner day for sports, what with opening day of baseball season and a Hoosier ending to college basketball this year.The roots planted in every boy, and more than a few girls, from the national pastime may be slowly eroding with the advent of the X Games and such: sports mainly involving boards or wheels or both, along with contortions while defying gravity for a few precious seconds.But even up here, baseball retains its grip, primeval at that. Some of our kids still take part in that archaic tradition known as Little League. There is a god.Forget the calendar, or even the teasing warmth of late. Spring starts when the Major Leaguers begin play. And no sooner.The greatest display of basketball, outside the assorted rec leagues, of course, (just ask 1em) crested as the bats began swinging for real. Indiana and Maryland, one with a venerable if blighted history and the other with no history in this final game, squared off to finish March Madness.Both teams played to April Fool1s proportions<that is to say, far below their talent. But in its own error-strewn way, resembling nothing so much as a rec league game on fast forward, this one was exciting.The stronger team, Maryland, managed at the end, just in time, to bear down long enough to give their coach, Gary Williams, a crown and an end to questions about his coaching prowess. Not that we had any, or stayed up nights worrying about that, but sports scribes need something for notes columns and Sports Center.On the women1s side of the NCAA, Connecticut rolled to an undefeated season with a win over Oklahoma, led by a star named Sue Bird. Nice to see that legendary name back in the game. The women1s next level still needs a Jordan to lift it, though. Or someone who dunks.Meanwhile, in no danger of starting riots with their victories or defeats, the rec leaguers plow into their playoffs with nothing but the love of the game driving them. And that1s quite enough.Excited kidsIf you want to see genuine love for the game, check out PE with Coach E. at Eagle Valley Elementary School, or no doubt any of the others in the valley.The younger kids hit the gym with absolutely unbridled joy, squirming and squirting off in every direction, never stopping till it1s time to head back to the classroom. Talk about energy.SprungAnd so we strive to bottle this zest, this trust in seasons to come, this joyful abandon and bring it back to the office, throwing ourselves into our tasks, inspired!Alas, the less athletic colleagues frown quizzically. Just a job, dude. Take it easy.Don1t they get it? Spring1s here, at last.


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